2011 workplace fatalities dip

Date Posted
Mike Rich

Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFIO) show there were 81 fewer injuries in 2011 than 2010.

“This report shows a decline in the number of workplace fatalities. It’s a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. We will continue to collaborate with employers, workers, labor leaders, and safety and health professionals to ensure that every American who clocks in for a shift can make it home safe and sound at the end of the day,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Soli.

The rate of fatal work injury for U.S. workers in 2011 was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, as compared to a final rate of 3.6 per 100,000 for 2010.

Over the last 3 years, increases in the published counts based on additional information have averaged166 fatalities per year or about 3 percent of the revised total.

Key findings of the report included:


  • Fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined to 721 in 2011 from 774 in 2010, a decline of 7 percent and the fifth consecutive year of lower fatality counts. Fatal construction injuries are down nearly 42 percent since 2006.


  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals accounted for 780 fatalities, or about 17 percent of the fatal injuries in the workplace in 2011. Included in this count are 458 homicides and 242 suicides. (See note in box below about recent changes to the classification system for case characteristics.)


  • Work-related fatalities in the private mining industry (which includes oil and gas extraction) were down 10 percent in 2011 after an increase of 74 percent in 2010. Coal mining fatalities fell to 17 in 2011 from 43 in 2010.


  • Fatal work injuries in private truck transportation rose 14 percent in 2011—the second consecutive year that counts have risen in this sector after reaching a series low in 2009.


  • Fatal work injuries increased among non-Hispanic black or African-American workers and among Hispanic or Latino workers in 2011, but declined among non-Hispanic white workers (down 3 percent).


  • Fatal work injuries involving workers 55 years of age and older as well as workers under the age of 18 were both lower in 2011,

The CFIO will release the final 2011 numbers in Spring 2013.

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